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Rome and Italy: Books VI-X of the History of Rome from its Foundation (Histoire romaine #2)

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  888 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Thus Livy (59 BC-AD17) makes plain the moral purpose of his life's work. This Penguin Classic contains Books VI-X of The History of Rome, beginning with the city's foundation and covering the dramatic century from its apparent collapse after defeat by the Gauls in 386BC to its emergence as the premier power in Italy in 293. Describing history in terms of the characters of ...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published August 26th 1982 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published December 31st 1920)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,590)
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Rick Davis
Livy, Books VI-X

Having completed books VI-X of T. Livius’s The History of Rome From Its Foundation, I have now read almost all of Livy’s work that hasn’t been lost to antiquity. The writings of Livy, who lived during the reign of Caesar Augustus, are fascinating for me simply because of the sheer scope of his endeavor. Utilizing previous Greek and Roman sources as well as official government annals, Livy attempts to piece together a history of Rome from its founding all the way up to the present
Justin Evans
Look, I know I have no right to sit in judgment on Livy. But my plan to read his surviving works over this summer has hit a real road-block: we just care about different things, Livy and I. The first five books were great fun. These five books, as the title would have suggested to a more attentive reader than I, are about war. To repurpose Heidegger's bit about what you need to know about Aristotle's biography, all I need or want to know about a war* is why it started, which two or more groups f ...more
Mar 02, 2013 Jesper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Same story as before. Romans bluffing together an empire.
Peter Aronson
Another solid translation (if not as colloquial as Aubrey de Sélincourt's translation of the first five books of Livy's history), well footnoted and very readable. Livy lets himself a bit loose here, speculating what would have happened if Alexander the Great had attacked Rome (surprise: he thinks the Romans would have won [I agree -- Alexander would have won battles, but the Romans would have won the war, just as they did when they fought Pyrrhus of Epirus]).
Jul 13, 2016 Zach rated it liked it
Shelves: history, classics
This has fewer famous stories than the first five books, but I thought it was more interesting. At the conclusion of book V, Rome has finally managed to sack next-door Veii only to be sacked itself by the Gauls. By the conclusion of book X, Rome has assured its predominance over all of central Italy, including over the powerful Samnites and Etruscans. Where it was a minor city on the Tibur, it's now a first-rate power in Italy, and Livy can argue with a straight face (if not very convincingly) t ...more
The Livy everyone knows and loves is apparently the Livy of Books 1-5. The kings of Rome, the Rape of the Lucretia and the Sabine Women, Servius Tullius' reforms, Horatius at the bridge, the sacred geese--all of these "tales" for which Livy is so well known come from these first five books. So the second five are not bad by any means, but the Samnite Wars simply have fewer "tales" that are quite as well known. It's worth reading, and it's a pretty comfortable read if you can get past some of the ...more
Roger Burk
May 12, 2015 Roger Burk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Livy carries the story of Rome through the fourth century BC, starting with the recovery after the Gaulish sack in 386 BC. At first, the wars seem to be mostly about restoring power over fractious allies and less about predatory wars on enemy cities. Even the Latins must sometimes be forced back into the fold, with some reluctance since they are identical to the Romans in language, laws, and customs. Later, there are nearly yearly campaigns against various other states, but above all against Sam ...more
M. Milner
The second volume of Livy's monumental history of Rome, Penguin's Rome and Italy covers a less famous period of history but is still a blast to read.

It picks up where the first volume leaves off, just a couple years after the first Gallic sack of Rome, with a rebuilding Roman citystate and a bunch of other communities looking to shake off any obligation to Rome. Soon these skirmishes blow into full-scale conflicts: The Samnite Wars. Livy's history covers this century in detail as the Samnites de
Sep 27, 2011 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazon Review:

Livy continues his magnificent epic, with Rome in complete ruin after the Gallic invasion and sack of the city in 310 B.C. Led by Camillus, one of Rome's great heroic patricians, the city regains her self-confidence and once more becomes the leader of the Latin people.

Painstakingly rebuilding alliances, forging friendships, cementing relations among her own people, and fighting endless wars, Rome soon becomes the dominant power among the fractious Italic tribes on the Latin plain.
Mar 15, 2014 Cameron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Books 6-10 tell the story of Rome from 390 to 293 BC, and were most likely written by Livy in the early 20s BC. The history opens with the aftermath of the capture of Rome by an army of Gauls. Most of the narrative is concerned with Rome's repeated wars with their neighbours (thus the title of this edition). The other main theme of the history is the struggle between Rome's upperclass patricians and the plebeian commoners over rights and political power.

This translation is very readable, and the
Nicholas During
Aug 06, 2013 Nicholas During rated it really liked it
This probably isn't the best place to start with Livy or the history of Rome, since it isn't from the beginning and therefore doesn't have some of the best, mythical stuff: Romulus & Remus, rape of Lucretia, rape of the Sabine women (wait, this is the great culture?). But it's still pretty early, 400 B.C. early.

And most of it is fighting. Romans really believed in honor and glory, two things you can only get by being a successful warrior. There's hardly any poetry, drama, art, sculpture, or
Jay Eckard
May 23, 2013 Jay Eckard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This books is (of course) very similar to the previous volume. They're both at times slow-moving accounts of the battles early Rome had with its Italian neighbors. Towards the end, even Livy is forced to admit the story of the battles with the Samnites and Etruscans gets repetitive. What makes it worth reading is Livy's handling. Although the reports of the battles are the same, you get a real feel for the people fighting them. The voices and the actions of people like Marcus Furius or the Publi ...more
I think we can keep reading this book by Livy as far as we're interested in Rome's inception as the first empire destined to be one of the leading nations in the name of western civilization. Of course, we can still find chaotic/inspiring events regarding political crises as well as innumerous war engagements between Rome vs. notoriously the Semnites. Moreover, some other daring tribes also exercised their military muscle sometime, in other words, they couldn't help becoming Rome's eyesores.

I have read most all of Machiavelli's Discorsi, commentaries on Livy. Only pieces of Livy, in Latin. (My three stars is a grade of my own Latin speed and comprehension.) I grew more familiar with the Samnites in our NEH postdoc in Napoli and Cuma (Villa Vergilliana above an amphitheater so old it was dug into the ground, not above), co-led by Jean D'Amato Thomas and titled, Campania Felix.
Jun 06, 2010 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Camillus having saved the day and repulsed the Gauls, the republic of Rome lives on! This covers the 4th century after the sack and the early 3rd century too. Manlius literally throws around money in the street: did Huey Long read this? The Caudine Forks episode has to be one of the funniest military exploits ever. There are gigantic wars fought with Samnium, but Rome survives and consolidates a nascent empire. The story breaks off at this point; apparently, the Christian monks who were supposed ...more
Jul 23, 2011 Yann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Suite de l'histoire de Rome, après l'invasion de la ville par les Gaulois. Les Romains étendent leur influence et portent la guerre chez les Samnites (des grecs) au sud et chez les Étrusques au Nord. Les institutions sont maintenant relativement figées, mais les postes s'ouvrent par degrés à la plèbe, et le mérite prend petit à petit le pas sur la naissance, même si l'auteur ne fait pas mystère de sa préférence pour la noblesse et de ses sentiments conservateurs. Tite Live colore de belle appare ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Josiah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not only was this a great narrative (Livy is the man), but it filled a sizable gap in my knowledge about the rise of Rome which I'd long had a bad conscience about. There might be no other period in Rome's history where its character and strength are as apparent as they were when it was fighting in Italy for its existence against the Gauls, the Etruscans, and the Samnites.

I'd have given it five stars but Livy shouldn't have said Papirius Cursor was a better general than Alexander the Great.
Epic like any good foundation story and the creation of the early Republic is well portrayed. It does become a bit redundant with the whole new yearly consuls list but the politics and the way the alliances and how the patricians families and the plebe families established their power bases is worth reading. The translation is still pretty good and engaging had does justice to the epic style of writing of this kind of literature.
Mar 29, 2014 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another interesting volume of Roman history. I continue to be surprised by the strong religious beliefs of the Romans, and how often they attributed events to supernatural forces. Also enjoyed reading about their different political experiments, and how quickly things could tend toward tyranny.
Aaron Crofut
Sigh...I don't think Livy is going to get any more exciting. I have no idea what inspired Machiavelli to write an entire booked based on what I've read of Livy so far.
Thomas Jr.
Jun 17, 2013 Thomas Jr. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why I have enjoyed these books so much but I can't put them down. Best telling of Roman History I have found so far.
Jul 20, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The next chapter after the Roman defeat by the Gauls in 386 BCE, they begin to rebuild as a powerful Italy.
Jul 20, 2010 Tinkwelborn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
blood n guts. war upon war. no wonder the Romans were stoical.
Mar 26, 2012 Caroline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Yes, I know I'm strange for enjoying books like this.
Oct 17, 2008 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rome
Penguin Classics delivers again.
Mike Anderson
Jan 03, 2011 Mike Anderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-rome
More from one of the early greats.
Apr 23, 2008 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Need I say more?
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  • Makers of Rome: Nine Lives
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  • The Roman History: The Reign of Augustus
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Titus Livius (Patavinus) (64 or 59 BC – AD 17)—known as Livy in English—was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people – Ab Urbe Condita Libri (Books from the Foundation of the City) – covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditional foundation in 753 BC through the reign of Augustus in Livy's own time. He was on familiar terms with th ...more
More about Livy...

Other Books in the Series

Histoire romaine (7 books)
  • Histoire romaine, livre I à V
  • Histoire Romaine: Livres Xxi à Xxv
  • Histoire Romaine: Livres Xxvi à Xxx
  • Histoire Romaine: Livres Xxxi à Xxxv
  • Histoire Romaine: Livres Xxxvi À Xl
  • Histoire romaine, livres XLI à XLV

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“The Roman envoys replied that they would go where their own generals led them, not where bidden by their enemies.” 3 likes
“The law proposed by Valerius forbade that anyone who had appealed should be scourged with rods or beheaded, but if the law was disregarded on either point it did no more than term it 'a wicked deed'. Such was the sense of shame amongst men at that time that this, I suppose, was thought to impose a legal sanction which would be sufficiently binding. Today hardly anyone would seriously utter such a threat.” 3 likes
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